Tuesday, 31 May 2016

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Location:Colchester,United Kingdom

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Things to do in Brightlingsea part 2

Weather to leave Brightlingsea?....that is the question....the answer was quickly answered by listening to the forecast at 5.30 and looking outside where the wind speed machine was nearly coming off its hinges.
So a trip to the cafe and my long anticipated trip on the bus to Colchester seemed to be acceptable to the crew.
Other delights of Brightlingsea where the local people have been exceptionally helpful include having a haircut ( not needed) sitting in a shelter or visiting the loo
We enjoyed our trip on the bus and hope once again for better weather tomorrow
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Monday, 30 May 2016


Today has been very windy and so for want of anything better to do we have spent the day drinking tea and fiddling with various electronic items that seem to do nothing more than create frustration and anger on a sailing boat
For a start the phone has been playing up hence the lack of photos on the last blog
The radar reflector....which resembles a lilo pillow has been fixed and the gps which helps to tell us where we are can now be used properly thanks to my friend Tonny.
Sadly a trip to Colchester was vetoed despite the fact that the circus is in town.
Such is the life of a frustrated storm bound sailing type
Let's hope St Christopher looks after us tomorrow

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And so we say Farewell....

Well we've finally left after an emotional farewell at the Three Mariners Pub So the.....three mariners ....left this morning at 5am to try and make progress against the dreaded north easterly wind.
After much bobbing about and with help from the boat's St Christopher we have made it safely to Brightlingsea in Essex where we enjoyed a feast of chicken and chips at theYacht Club ... And no less
Tomorrow the forecast is similar so we will try to get to Harwich where the night life is supposed to be spectacular
No real hiccups apart from a hole in the floor of the dinghy which my crew mate Tonny is ably suited to manage by sticking his finger in the hole....he is half Dutch after all
The photo is one of us leaving at 5 this morning taken by an admirer who had stayed up all night in order to capture the moment

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Thursday, 26 May 2016

Blow the wind southerly...please

The thing about this sailing malarkey is that it all depends on the weather, but particularly the wind.
It is now only three days until we set sail to Harwich and then across the North Sea to Holland.
The trouble is that we will need to travel in a North Easterly direction and the weather forecast is predicting strong North Easterly winds over the weekend. Boats and their crews tend to like the wind to come from behind them and don't tend to relish going straight into strong winds.
Never mind, I'm sure beer whisky or cocoa will help to maintain morale but as for the boat she will just have to lump it!
There were a couple of boats out on the Swale today having a peaceful sail. Let's hope that's an omen.

YouTube Video

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Monday, 23 May 2016

The importance in having a clean bottom

One can never have a bottom that is too clean.
Mike has been up since 2.30 this morning to get Bonita onto the scrubbing post. He has removed all the barnacles slapped on some anti fouling and is now painting the top sides white, just

as the tide starts to come in.
What people will do in order to get their boat to go a bit faster.
You can see Calismarde in the background.....still floating!
Less than a week to go now......

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Sunday, 22 May 2016

Pre cruise nerves

One week to go before we set sail to Holland via Harwich. Have I got everything I need? Anxiety levels are increasing and friends are doing their best to help. " I have got a present for you" says Dave earnestly. "Yes it's something which I think may come in very useful" He goes home to get it, and returns with a huge orange survival bag. "There, pack it somewhere easily accessible". He looks serious....he was in the army for many years.
Dave has only been on the boat once. When he got off he vowed never to get on any floating object ever again unless it had at least two restaurants. Is this the sort of confidence building I need?
Time will tell.....

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Friday, 20 May 2016

Haute Cuisine

"Have you got all of your food provisions for the trip?" Asks Hugh; friend, crew member,master chef and all round gourmand.
"I believe so," I smugly reply "Pasta, rice, dried herbs,spices,quinoa.....and of course I would never go on a trip like this without tahini and tamarind paste. In fact I think Yotam Ottolenghi couldn't be better prepared"
"What about tins of baked beans with sausages? ....And spam?"
Stunned silence. I have clearly misread the situation. Sainsbury beckons...... The tamarind paste had better stay at home.
Spam fritters anyone?

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Friday, 13 May 2016


I have owned Calismarde for about 10 years and have always wondered where this strange name originated. Despite much searching I have been unable to find out
Today Jane bought a bar of chocolate from our local French 'choclatiere' to share with some fellow crew members. I think she may have given us the solution to our conundrum. Calis is a beach resort in Turkey and Marde is an alternative way of saying 'merde'.....so that's it....
Many people who have sailed on her may think this to be an appropriate description of the boat!!

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Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Down the creek without a leak

It works! I can tell you the depth without using a long stick to poke in the mud and there is only a small leak. We cast off....engine thumping happily but proceed in the wrong direction....'shouldn't you be going the other way? ' Shouts Jane who is walking past the boat yard with Ruth and the dog. 'Shut up' is the only expletive that I can think of at the time. Eventually the quarter mounted propeller enables me to turn and go the right way with my willing but somewhat hungover crew enjoying the sunshine. Drink anyone?.. 4 beers ...and a GLASS of MILK!! ...now that's a first.
After a brisk sail we pick up the mooring and enjoy a picnic with Jane and Ruth on the sea wall

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Well....I'm committed now

The months quickly pass by and as March moves into April the anxiety levels begin to increase. There is a big hole in the bottom of the boat where the depth sounder transducer should be. The patch of rot in the cabin side is bigger than I thought and I really must replace the headlining (ceiling) in the cabin. The cooker has had it and I need to get charts and a couple of chips for the GPS
.....and...what about safety? asks my friend Tonny?????!!...
looks like an EPIRB /life raft /danbuoy /new flares are needed. Oh, and an upgraded radio licence
Thank god for retirement giving time to get the jobs done and for the help from Hugh with his varnishing brush. I miraculously met the deadline to launch on7th May. But will the engine start and will my new depth sounder transducer do the business?

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Location:Iron Wharf Faversham

It seemed like a good idea in December

Why don't we go on a cruise to the Baltic this summer ? suggests Mike by e mail over the Christmas Holiday. He will sail Bonita his beautiful 1888 yawl and we will go in a flotilla via Holland, the Kiel Canal and try and get to the Swedish Archipelago.
What a brilliant idea......will Jane agree...after all....a trip of 8 weeks leaving her to manage at home is not to be considered lightly. BUT..what a great opportunity to actually go for a proper sail in my old boat which is 60 this year and not something I have considered doing before....and I am 2 years older than Calismarde......she agreed!!!. So strike while the iron's hot and reply to Mike by return.
Is the boat up to it? is the skipper capable and can he find crew for the 8 week trip?